Entrepreneurship

Hussman Students change gears due to COVID-19

Showcasing the ability to change

Showcasing the ability to change

Dana McMahanOpens in new window’s Workroom FashionMash Product Design class at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media typically culminates in a hands-on, student-constructed and produced event to showcase a product concept for a top brand.

The real-world design and marketing experience ofFashionMashOpens in new windowis tough to top, but that was before the COVID-19 pandemic turned an extended spring break at UNC-Chapel Hill into a remote-learning environment, halting the hands-on design and immersive workshop processes that are the heart of FashionMash. 

“There’s a tremendous element of chaos in every design process. There couldn’t be a more real-world application than this,” said McMahan. “The students’ ingenuity, resilience and creativity brought them through the pivot to a virtual workroom and helped them retain a united vision for the line that has a strong mission.”

When the 40 students across the country — with one in China — were faced with how to creatively produce and launch their line of stylish and practical loungewear virtually, they became more collaborative than ever and driven to make a difference for those most impacted by the pandemic. They changed course quickly, aligning design elements and color palettes with forward-looking and upbeat messages about COVID-19.

FashionMash is made possible by the generous support of UNC Hussman alumni Bill and Leigh Goodwyn,whose $1 million gift in 2016 established the initiativeOpens in new window.

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